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37 mins
ILP Video

GaN, Graphene and Other Extreme Materials for Future Electronics

Tomás Palacios
Emmanuel Landsman CD Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Electronics is at a crossroads. Most of the technologies that have enabled the electronics revolution of the last 40 years are no longer useful. If we want electronics to continue improving its performance and, along the way, continue driving a countless number of other industries, we need novel materials and device concepts. In this talk, we will discuss the new opportunities enabled by two extraordinary material families: GaN and layered semiconductors like graphene and MoS2.

First, we will focus on GaN, a wide bandgap semiconductor with ideal properties to address the energy challenge our society is currently facing. Through solid state lighting and power electronics, GaN semiconductor devices could save more than 20% of the world´s energy consumption. In this talk we will describe some of the devices that will make this happen.

At the opposite end of the bandgap spectrum, graphene, a two-dimensional structure of carbon atoms with sp2 bonding, has demonstrated the highest electron and hole mobility at room temperature in any semiconductor material. We will describe how this one-atom-thick material is quickly becoming the building block for a new generation of ubiquitous electronics.
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43 mins
ILP Video

Bulk Nanostructured Materials for Advanced Structural Applications - Mechanical and Multifunctional Properties

Brian Wardle
Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Director, Nano-Engineered Composite Aerospace Structures (NECST) Consortium
MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Bulk nanostructured materials offer tremendous opportunity for re-inventing materials, but also pose many challenges both in terms of characterization, design, processing, and scaling. This presentation will focus on recent work developing nanoengineered hierarchical advanced composites with a focus on enhancing mechanical properties. Such hybrid advanced composites employ aligned nanowires (in our work, carbon nanotubes, CNTs) in several architectures to enhance laminate-level bulk properties of existing aerospace-grade advanced composites. Intrinsic and scale-dependent characteristics of the CNTs are used to engineer bulk property improvements including critical mechanical design parameters for composite laminates such as open-hole compression (OHC) and tension bearing strengths. Building multifunctionality concurrent with these mechanical property improvements includes thermal and electrical conductivity tailoring for damage detection and ice protection, among others. Fundamental studies on polymer-CNT interactions led to the development of a combined top-down and bottom-up fabrication methodology that addresses several of the key issues (agglomeration, viscosity, CNT wetting, scale, alignment) that have frustrated the use of nanomaterials in bulk materials, particularly advanced composites. New research directions, particularly new applications in related disciplines such energy storage and transport, will be highlighted.
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34 mins
ILP Video

Energy Technology Spinoffs From Plasma Fusion Research

Daniel Cohn
Research Scientist
Division Head, Plasma Technology and Systems Division (PSFC)
MIT Energy Initiative
MIT has had a major research program in the investigating nuclear fusion plasmas as a long term environmentally attractive, carbon free energy source. This program has also served as a platform for spinoff of new near term and longer term energy technologies.

One technology is an environmentally superior means of treating waste in which a plasma enhanced process is used to transform chemical, medical and municipal waste into clean fuel for electricity generation or transportation. Substantial greenhouse gas reduction is obtained by elimination of methane emissions from waste that would otherwise be landfilled. Demonstration and commercial plants have been deployed by a company spun off from research at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,

A second technology is the use of compact “plasmatron” devices to provide plasma boosted onboard conversion of gasoline and diesel fuel to hydrogen-rich gas which is used as an additive to increase the efficiency and reduce emissions from cars and trucks. The work on this technology was followed by a third technology, alcohol boosting of gasoline engines, which uses an a small amount of alcohol from a secondary tank to provide on-demand octane boost which increases the fuel octane number from 87 to over 120; the octane boost prevents engine knock at high torque thereby enabling operation of small, high compression ratio gasoline engines which provide the same power as much larger engines at substantially higher efficiency. The potential of this technology has been demonstrated in engine tests by two major automobile manufacturers.

A fourth technology involves the investigation of gyrotons, high power sources of millimeter wave energy beams that have been employed for fusion plasma heating, as non mechanical means of drilling for geothermal energy and also for natural gas production applications. This technology is in the intial research stage.
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32 mins
ILP Video

The U.S. Shale Resource – A Multi-Scale Analysis of Productivity

Francis O'Sullivan
Director of Research and Analytics (MITEI)
MIT Energy Initiative
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41 mins
ILP Video

CO2 reduction and reversible sequestration

Christopher Cummins
Professor of Chemistry
MIT Department of Chemistry
We are exploring the use of molecular nitrides and oxides in the fixation of carbon dioxide. These systems serve as models for reactive sites on solid-state oxide or nitride catalysts. One niobium nitride system to be described is for the reduction of CO2 to CO by a novel sequence of reactions with isolation and characterization of intermediates. A related anionic titanium oxide system is shown to bind CO2 with an affinity that varies as a function of the nature of the counter-ion. Finally, a molybdenum oxide system is shown to be able to bind up to two equivalents of CO2 per molybdenum atom, with binding of the second CO2 molecule occurring in reversible fashion.
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